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Nike's Self-Lacing Shoes Will Go On Sale This Year (arstechnica.com) 84

An anonymous reader writes: The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 self-lacing shoes have been officially unveiled. We know they will go on sale later this year, but we do not know the price. "When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten," explained Tiffany Beers, the project's technical lead. There are two buttons on the side of the shoe that allow you to tweak how loose or tight the laces are. The concept behind the HyperAdapt shoes bring to mind Marty McFly's Nike Mags from Back to the Future, even if they do not look very similar. Nike hasn't yet revealed how the shoes work from a technical point of view but they do lineup with the US patent filed by the company in 2009. The HyperAdapt 1.0 shoes will be exclusively available to users of the Nike+ app later this year in three color combinations -- white, grey and black.
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Nike's Self-Lacing Shoes Will Go On Sale This Year

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  • Battery powered (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Meshach ( 578918 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @06:36PM (#51718683)
    From the article:

    Presumably the lacing mechanism is battery-powered, but there's no word on how long the battery might last or how you might recharge it.

    I never thought I would see the day where shoes would be battery powered.

    Imaging not being able to take off shoes because the battery is dead.

    • by BeauHD ( 4450103 ) Works for Slashdot
      It's just one more (two more, technically) device to charge at night.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe it charges the battery by piezoelectric effect? Aaah, but that's too elegant. Chances are good when the batteries run out, you have to buy new shoes. Because why would Nike make something elegant when they could instead go for profit?

    • Even worse, imagine your fancy and expensive shoes becoming worthless trash because a wire breaks.
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        That was my first thought. I figured I'd see if anyone mentioned this. Then again, I suspect that the people buying these shoes will take quite a bit of care about how they're treated. As in, cleaning them nightly with a toothbrush and only wearing them on special occasions. Some people are really passionate about their "kicks." Pimping and preening does have a focus on footwear - to the point of obsession and collectibles and underground with black-, gray-, and used-markets. I know a number of people who a

    • Still... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @07:12PM (#51718883)

      Springs, bouncy soles, fancy graphics, LEDs, etc...those are gimmicks that idiots fall for.

      Self lacing is a practical advantage for millions of disabled people.

      • by nmb3000 ( 741169 )

        Self lacing is a practical advantage for millions of disabled people.

        This was my first thought as well. I can understand the need to make the first version of these shoes flashy -- to make them appeal to the target demographic (oh look shiny!) -- but once they've refined the technology and reduced costs, I completely expect them to make some traditional styles designed for disabled and elderly folks who have a difficult time even with velcro straps.

        As for power concerns, it will be interesting to see what the storage and charging system is. Perhaps the motors consume littl

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Wouldn't lace-less shoes be even better?

      • Velcro straps, those work well. Also the spiral laces, those work too. With no batteries either.

      • Or, you know, Velcro.

        Or even just slip on shoes.

        If someone can't toe their shoelaces due to disability then having to change batteries isn't going to be a walk in the park either.

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        Ditto. I can't even tie shoes because of my disabilities. :( I miss those long strap laces when I was younger. They don't make and sell those in local stores any more. :(

    • by dknj ( 441802 )

      During the release in New York they claimed the battery should expect 2 weeks of usage and takes 3 hours to charge. You can always remove the shoe because it defaults to an open circuit (if i interpret the patent correctly, it "ratchets down" the shoe to a snug size. without power you can manually "open" the sneakers)

    • When my son was young, I bought him those velcro-fastened shoes. You could instantly fasten, unfasten, and adjust them to whatever tension you want. It seems to me they had all the advantages of these "self-lacing" shoes and also had no battery to wear out. And I'm sure they were far less expensive. I would be surprised if these new shoes, which likely whirr a second or two while the motors run, are as fast as velcro fasteners, which respond literally instantly to a slight pull.
      • As mentioned above this comment, there are a number of disabled patients that have a hard time with even velcro. Hopefully they will be able to vet the tech en mass and that will drive costs down and increase the amount of shoes that can have this option w/out the shiny lights.
    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      I never know if I am on a tech site or the old fogeys ranting about how the young uns are making the world go to hell. Do people actually do innovative things, or is everyone those people who are going to leave their company because they no longer get free Red Bull.

      Honestly this is kind of silly but no more silly than an app to track where you are going, or an app to get you laid because you are too lazy to leave your house. I am interested in seeing how this works and seeing how this evolves. I would th

    • I never thought I would see the day where shoes would be battery powered.

      You don't remember LA Lights from the early 90s? Those things were the shit.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        One of my favorites is the multiple stories about criminals who have been spotted, tracked, or apprehended because of the lights in their shoes. It's also as good as the many stories about those who are otherwise impeded by their fashion choices, often to dire conclusions. Hats, hair styles, girdles, and footwear have killed people - many people. Pants worn around the knees sometimes have dire consequences, in today's world, that sometimes includes physical harm - including death and imprisonment.

        I don't we

    • Every parent knows that the kids shoes need to be replaced very often. So an expensive pair of shoes that get thrown again in a few months versus teaching the kid how to tie the damn shoes...

    • I never thought I would see the day where shoes would be battery powered.

      I guess you must have missed all those blinky lights shoes.

    • Last night my friend asked to use a USB port to charge his cigarette, but I was using it to charge my book. The future is stupid. http://qdb.us/310406 [qdb.us]
  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @06:43PM (#51718723)
    did you REALLY have to tie your own shoes?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They are not so much self-lacing as they are self-tightening. Reebok has had their pump shoes since the early ninety's, including ones where you could carry around a CO2 cartridge to fill them. Shoes are just bizarre.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What belongs to the ninety? Why didn't you also write shoe's or one's?

  • by Anonymous Coward


  • BTTF (Score:3, Funny)

    by monkeyman.kix ( 4487805 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @06:59PM (#51718799)
    Marty Mcfly is like "Uhh Doc. We have a problem, These self lacing shoes are a year late, we gotta go back in time to fix this!"
  • New meme (Score:2, Funny)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 )
    Cheesus... I thought the getting up to change the television channel meme was going to last till I had a grandchild.

    "When I was a kid, we had to learn to tie our own shoes!"

  • by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @07:10PM (#51718867) Homepage

    Instead of pushing a button to adjust tightness, I just pulled two straps to the desired tightness. They called it "velcro" and it worked quite well and quite fast for those who didn't want to / couldn't tie their shoes, for hundreds less dollars.

    • Imagine a "sister" product, two (sic) wit a brassiere! :-)
  • This will be the perfect gift for the retards on your shopping list! They can finally ditch the velcro and blend in with the non-paste-eating crowd!

    • "This will be the perfect gift for the retards on your shopping list!"

      No. This will not get me to add you to my shopping list. Nice try though, retard.

  • ... back in the very early '70s.

    Batteries not required. These are a solution in search of a problem. Maybe Nike ought to try and help figure out why so many runners get injured when wearing modern running shoes instead of wasting R&D money automating something that the vast, vast majority of people master before kindergarden.

  • Thanks, but no thanks

  • Will these shoes work as well as passive safety belts did, back a few decades ago?

  • The TSA will lose it when they see the batteries on an X-ray. Their setup is specially tuned to detect only harmless things.
  • Lazy people, and those who never learned to tie their shoes will be ever grateful!
  • I can see a potential use in cycle racing shoes: cycling all day you do not want shoes too tight, but come to a sprint and you do want them tight.
    Current shoes have quick adjust, but then other riders can see you preparing. A couple of small buttons on the handlebars and you can tighten up without anyone knowing. 1/4 second could be the difference between winning and loosing.
    Also if you miss the jump you can tighten up faster, and join in.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @07:39AM (#51721435)
    But will they... "Give me three D vision and the California blues".
  • You've invented the loafer!

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein